Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What we have here is a failure to communicate..

Greetings from The Big Apple. While I am toiling away at work, yesterday I popped into Whole Foods to pick up something and alas, they don't carry it anymore. You realize what you are being told, but somehow you stand there and wait, hoping the employee adds, "Just kidding."

This phenomenon started with the Freesia scented lotion at Bath & Body Works. I don't even remember when that product first hit the shelves. Was I in 8th grade? Was I 19? I just remembered the lovely scent and uber-glossy store. And I was hooked. And then they stopped making it. So I switched to the White Tea & Ginger scent. And had a new favorite. And then it too was discontinued. And then the Grapefruit lotion. And then it was discontinued. So, I wised up and stopped buying lotion from Bath & Body Works. But then I got hooked on their sugar scrub. As in hooked since the day it came out. (And incidentally, I have never been without this product since that first purchase. I have tried dozens of sugar/salt/citrus peel scrubs including the most over the top version from Natura Bisse. NONE is as great as B&BW Sugar Scrub.) But I got hooked on the grapefruit peppermint version. DAMN YOU Bath & Body Works...why do you discontinue this pioneer and fabulous product. Luckily I found other faves but one day I was buying my recent fave Black Currant Vanilla and a young girl working in the store told me they were discontinuing it soon. So I stocked up. To the tune of 10-15 tubs of it. Later to learn, no in fact, she was not correct. And now I have gobs of this tucked away under our bed because there is simply no room under the vanity.

But the point is this, its hard to get attached to a product and see it go by the wayside. This has happened to many products I love including Crest Weekly Clean toothpaste, my first favorite Aveda shampoo, and a cocoa powder I love to use for baking.

Oh, I get the thought track on why products are discontinued but to me, can I be the only one who loved it? Doubtful. And no one gave me the warning shot or I could have scads of Crest Weekly Clean under the bed with the sugar scrub. What we have here is a failure to communicate. Company, you need to let me in on your marketing strategy and plans to make me frown. I would have at least given you a little cash boost there at the end.

And one day my husband brough home Breakstone's Zesty Blend Sour Cream with Jalapeno. I don't like sour cream. And when I use it, I use fat-free. The quickest way to ensure JohnnyMac isn't participating in whatever has been prepared is to include anything fat-free. But I was out of fat-free and tried this new product. And I LOVED it. JMac laughed and said, "that is because it is not fat-free." But the jalapenos add the perfect spicy cartwheel to this amazing Mexican dish I had prepared.

So now I love the spicy sour cream. And use it in a variety of ways. Until literally, one month later I can no longer find it on the shelf. What is the meaning of this? Of course, you already know. Discontinued. How did I find out? I went to their website and found nothing. But Facebook had all the update I needed. Good thing you are super-savvy and hip Breakstones so I could read about why you aren't making this product anymore via your Facebook page.

When I exclaimed my discontent, my husband, always so logical, simply said, "Or you could just add sliced jalapeno to regular sour cream."

My response: Really??? No one likes a know-it-all.

I think companies should be kind enough to warn when products are going to hit the bricks. It would allow me to extend the life of some of my favorite products. Althought, I need to locate a better storage facility then under the bed.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Take A Bite Of: Iced and Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh my friends...I have missed you. I have missed the blogosphere. And I have missed a normal schedule, seeing my child, and having a calm brain too. Work is going fantastic. But with that also comes an expression I have never applied to myself called "drinking from a firehose" that some of you know all too well. I am also traveling like mad and leave again Monday am for a week. And if that doesn't appropriately capture the schedule change let me sum it up: I haven't baked in two weeks.  BUT: JMac just boarded a plane to Las Vegas. MiniMac and I are hanging out for the weekend and I am bringing back one of my all-time favorite fall recipes. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

Iced and Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 12-oz. pkg. Chocolate Chips Cookies
Vanilla glaze recipe below.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle or spread with Vanilla Glaze.

FOR VANILLA GLAZE: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl; mix well.
Take these to your office or your favorite Halloween party. There won't be one left, I promise. 
Have an awesome weekend and I will be back next week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What Whitney said...(Crack is wack...)

How is the new job? Can you tell bc I haven't posted since Saturday! More to come on that my friends, more to come.

However, let me share a treasure I stumbled upon last night.

We went out to dinner and make  quick stop following to pick up a few things for a dinner party we are hosting this weekend. We go to our favorite grocery near our neighborhood. In favorite grocery are some rascals. I can honestly say I have never seen rascals in the store, so yes, first time for everything. As I am perusing objects, a rascal says, "Looking good in them tight jeans..." I don't look, acknowledge or respond. After all, I am not assumptive. However, it is 10 pm and I am in some new fabulous skinny (and tight) jeans. It wasn't what he said, it was how he said it. Kind of like Andrew Dice Clay. Or Li'l John. So I pick up my item and skedaddle. But before I do, I catch his eyes. And those things are about to POP OUT. And I think they are twitching.

As I walk away, he said in a terse voice, "Oh, you don't like my flattery?" Althought it sounded more like "fla-ta-tree".

Actually, no. I don't like your fla-ta-tree. Why? 1. Because drug-induced compliments aren't my favorite kind. 2. I am pretty sure I saw you earlier trying to mash on a box of cornflakes. is everywhere.

Have a fantastic and drug-induced-compliment-free weekend.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Take A Bite Of: JennyMac's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I know you love a little decadence here and there. A little chocolate, thich and rich decadence. Well, let me fill that void for you. I have whipped up a concoction in my kitchen for my good friend KM's birthday.

I have been making homemade Peanut Butter cups.

And my all-time favorite brownie recipe is my Sea Salt Caramel Brownies.

So what if after a hedonistic little courtship, those two got together and made a baby?

Do you know how amazing that baby would taste? Well, in the words of my friend KM, they are 'AHHH MAZING."

and I believe her.

So if case you need a pick-me-up today, need something for the neighborhood Halloween bash coming up, or you just want to plump up for winter, let me give you what I have been working on. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

JennyMac's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Start with the base brownie batter recipe from the link above. Before you bake:

Mix 1 cup of peanut butter (your choice.) I have used creamy and delicious like my favorite Skippy Natural and I have also used Smucker's Natural which should be called Peanut Flavored Cement.  And actually, either will work.)

Add 2 T of room temp butter
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
Start with half  a cup of powdered sugar.
*1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs (optional and it is delicious with or without.)

Blend. You can gradually add powdered sugar until you have a firm but soft texture and it starts to form a ball. Break off 1/2 tsp size pieces and scatter throughout the top of the batter. I also took a fork and drizzled batter over each piece of peanut butter filling. Bake as the recipe indicates. 

Pull out of oven. Realize you do not have any interest in sharing with too many people. Why? Because this is how they look: 

And guess what? You can totally cheat and buy boxed brownie mix and do the same thing. My favorite boxed brownie mix: Pillsbury Milk Chocolate. 

Now, we are off to the pumpkin patch with MiniMac for a gorgeous family weekend where we can enjoy the weather, his enthusiasm, and the company of good friends. Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Laughing my arse off....

I don't participate in a lot of email forwards. My favorite kind have FW: fw: fw: FW: FWD in the subject line and get the automatic delete key. I don't think Bill Gates is going to give me a free iPad, that some "President" of a country I have never heard of is going to wire me gobs of cash, and I dont necessarily need to know "who is checking your facebook profile!!!"

And despite my Father's many, many attempts, I don't actually believe Barack is bad man with a fake birth certificate.

But once in awhile, I get an email forward I do read and enjoy.  Today is that day. I can't cut and paste to save you all a step but this post comes from Craigslist in Seattle.  Of course I like it, it generated from my hometown! In the event you need a laugh, I will just say that the title of my post is no exaggeration.

Also known as a shareworthy must -read....Enjoy